Coating and layering processes allow adding API and excipients onto carrier systems such as starter beads. Several goals can be satisfied, such as modified drug release, taste-masking, color, and more.


Cellets list of publication

Selected Scientific literature

Please, find scientific literature on CELLETS®, MCC spheres. This list is constantly updated and does not claim to be complete. If you are author, scientist or R&D specialist, please submit your present publication to us for improving the visibility.

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2023

Research article
Paediatric solid oral dosage forms for combination products: Improving in vitro swallowability of minitablets using binary mixtures with pellets
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2023), 187, 106471; doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2023.106471
A. Avila-Sierra, A. Lavoisier, C. Timpe, P. Kuehl, L. Wagner, C. Tournier, M. Ramaioli

Research article
Continuous Manufacturing of Cocrystals Using 3D-Printed Microfluidic Chips Coupled with Spray Coating
Pharmaceuticals (2023), 16(8), 1064; doi:10.3390/ph16081064
A. Kara, D. Kumar 2, A.M. Healy, A. Lalatsa, and D.R. Serrano

Research article
High-Speed Tableting of High Drug-Loaded Tablets Prepared from Fluid-Bed Granulated Isoniazid
Pharmaceuticals (2023), 15(4), 1236; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics15041236
V. Mohylyuk, and D. Bandere

Research article
The Effect of Design and Size of the Fluid‑Bed Equipment on the Particle Size‑Dependent Trend of Particle Coating Thickness and Drug Prolonged‑Release Profile
AAPS PharmSciTech (2023) 24, 93. doi:10.1208/s12249-023-02540-9
T. Brezovar, G. Hudovornik, M. Perpar, M. Luštrik, R. Dreu

Research article
Amorphous Solid Dispersions Layered onto Pellets—An Alternative to Spray Drying?
Pharmaceutics (2023) 15(3), 764. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics15030764
M. Neuwirth, S.K. Kappes, M.U. Hartig, K.G. Wagner

Research article
Optimization of Fluidized-Bed Process Parameters for Coating Uniformity and Nutrient-Release Characteristics of Controlled-Release Urea Produced by Modified Lignocellulosic Coating Material
Agronomy (2023) 13(3), 725. doi:10.3390/agronomy13030725
A.M. Ali, B. Azeem, A.M. Alghamdi, K. Shahzad, A. Ahmad Al-Zahrani, M. Imtiaz Rashid, A. Binti Mahpudz, A. Jamil

Research article
Hydrodynamic behaviour of CELLETS® (Ph.Eur./USP) in a spouted bed using image processing method
Particuology (2023), 76, 101-112, doi:10.1016/j.partic.2022.07.009
J. Vanamu, A. Sahoo

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2022

Research article
Product-Property Guided Scale-Up of a Fluidized Bed Spray Granulation Process Using the CFD-DEM Method
Processes (2022) 10(7), 1291. doi:10.3390/pr10071291
P. Kieckhefen, S. Pietsch-Braune, S. Heinrich

Research article
Influence of In Situ Calcium Pectinate Coating on Metoprolol Tartrate Pellets for Controlled Release and Colon-Specific Drug Delivery
Pharmaceutics (2022) 14(5), 1061. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics14051061
P. Wanasawas, A. Mitrevej, N. Sinchaipanid

Research article
Delamination and wetting behavior of natural hot-melt coating materials
Powder Technology (2022) 404, 117443. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2022.117443
B.M. Woerthmann, L. Totzauer, H. Briesen

Research article
A systematic approach for assessing the suitability of enteral feeding tubes for the administration of controlled-release pellet formulations
International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2022) 612, 121286. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2021.121286
F. Karkossa, N. Lehmann, S. Klein

Research article
Spray-freeze-dried lyospheres: Solid content and the impact on flowability and mechanical stability
Powder Technology (2022) 411, 117905. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2022.117905
A. Rautenberg, A. Lamprecht

Conference proceedings
Assessment of the effect of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) spheres size on the flow via powder rheology
The FORGE, 2022 –
V. Mohylyuk, R. Dattani

Research article
Solventless amorphization and pelletization using a high shear granulator. Part II; Preparation of co-amorphous mixture-layered pellets using indomethacin and arginine
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (2022) 181, 183-194. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2022.11.011
K. Kondo, T. Rades

Research article
Solventless amorphization and pelletization using a high shear granulator. Part I; feasibility study using indomethacin
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (2022) 181, 147-158. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2022.11.010
K. Kondo, T. Rades

Research article
Application of different models to evaluate the key factors of fluidized bed layering granulation and their influence on granule characteristics
Powder Technology (2022), 408:117737. doi: 10.1016/j.powtec.2022.117737
R. Maharjan, S. H. Jeong

Research article
Evaluation of gravitational consolidation of binary powder mixtures by modified Heckel equation
Powder Technology (2022), 408:117729. doi: 10.1016/j.powtec.2022.117729
P. Svačinová, O. Macho, Ž. Jarolímová, M. Kuentz, Ľ. Gabrišová and Z. Šklubalová

Research article
Integrated Purification and Formulation of an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient via Agitated Bed Crystallization and Fluidized Bed Processing
Pharmaceutics (2022), 14(5)1058. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14051058
M. W. Stocker, M. J. Harding, V. Todaro, A. M. Healy and S. Ferguson

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2021

Research article
Correlating Granule Surface Structure Morphology and Process Conditions in Fluidized Bed Layering Spray Granulation
KONA Powder and Particle Journal (2021), DOI:10.14356/kona.2022016
M. Orth, P. Kieckhefen, S. Pietsch and S. Heinrich

Research article
Relative bioavailability enhancement of simvastatin via dry emulsion systems: comparison of spray drying and fluid bed layering technology
Eur J Pharm Biopharm (2021), S0939-6411(21)00353-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2021.12.004
M. Pohlen, J. Aguiar Zdovc, J. Trontelj, J. Mravljak, M. G. Matjaž, I. Grabnar, T. Snoj and R. Dreu

Research article
A novel method for assessing the coating uniformity of hot-melt coated particles using micro-computed tomography
Powder Technology, Volume 378, Part A, 22 January 2021, Pages 51-59
B.M. Woerthmann, J.A. Lindner, T. Kovacevic, P. Pergam, F. Schmid, H. Briesen

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2020

Research article
Material specific drying kinetics in fluidized bed drying under mechanical vibration using the reaction engineering approach
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 31, Issue 12, December 2020, Pages 4699-4713
Soeren E. Lehmann, Tobias Oesau, Alfred Jongsma, Fredrik Innings, Stefan Heinrich

Research article
Simulation of pellet coating in Wurster coaters
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 590, 30 November 2020, 119931
Hamid Reza Norouzi

Research article
Quantification of swelling characteristics of pharmaceutical particles
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 590, 30 November 2020, 119903
Mithushan Soundaranathan, Pattavet Vivattanaseth, Erin Walsh, Kendal Pitt, Blair Johnston, Daniel Markl

Short communication
Introduction of the energy to break an avalanche as a promising parameter for powder flowability prediction
Powder Technology, Volume 375, 20 September 2020, Pages 33-41
Žofie Trpělková, Hana Hurychová, Martin Kuentz, Barbora Vraníková, Zdenka Šklubalová

Research article
Easy to Swallow “Instant” Jelly Formulations for Sustained Release Gliclazide Delivery
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 109, Issue 8, August 2020, Pages 2474-2484
Simmi Patel, Nathan Scott, Kavil Patel, Valentyn Mohylyuk, William J. McAuley, Fang Liu

Research article
Regulating the pH of bicarbonate solutions without purging gases: Application to dissolution testing of enteric coated tablets, pellets and microparticles
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 585, 30 July 2020, 119562
Nathan Scott, Kavil Patel, Tariro Sithole, Konstantina Xenofontos, Valentyn Mohylyuk, Fang Liu

Research article
Measuring segregation characteristics of industrially relevant granular mixtures: Part II – Experimental application and validation
Powder Technology, Volume 368, 15 May 2020, Pages 278-285
Alexander M. Fry, Vidya Vidyapati, John P. Hecht, Paul B. Umbanhowar, Julio M. Ottinoa, Richard M. Lueptow

Research article
Non-uniform drug distribution matrix system (NUDDMat) for zero-order release of drugs with different solubility
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 581, 15 May 2020, 119217
Matteo Cerea, Anastasia Foppoli, Luca Palugan, Alic Melocchi, Lucia Zema, Alessandra Maroni, Andrea Gazzaniga

Research article
Effects of humidity on cellulose pellets loaded with potassium titanium oxide oxalate for detection of hydrogen peroxide vapor in powders
Powder Technology, Volume 366, 15 April 2020, Pages 348-357
Maria H. Kastvig, Cosima Hirschberg, Frans W.J. Van Den Berg, Jukka Rantanen, Mogens L. Andersen

Research article
In-line particle size measurement and process influences on rotary fluidized bed agglomeration
Powder Technology, Volume 364, 15 March 2020, Pages 673-679
Marcel Langner, Ivonne Kitzmann, Anna-Lena Ruppert, Inken Wittich, Bertram Wolf

Research article
Recent advance in delivery system and tissue engineering applications of chondroitin sulfate
Carbohydrate Polymers, Volume 230, 15 February 2020, 115650
Jun Yang, Mingyue Shen, Huiliang Wen, Yu Luo, Rong Huang, Liyuan Rong, Jianhua Xie

Research article
Fixed-bed-column studies for Methylene blue removal by Cellulose CELLETS
Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, Volume 19 (2), March 2020, 269-279
Iulia Nica, Gabriela Biliuta, Carmen Zaharia, Lacramioara Rusu, Sergiu Coseri, Daniela Suteu

Research article
Optimization and tracking of coating processes of pellets with polyvinylpyrrolidone solutions in an acoustic levitator
Powder Technology, Volume 360, 15 January 2020, Pages 1126-1133
Doris L. Wong, Anna-Lena Wirsching, Kai Betz, Andreas Reinbeck, Hans-Ulrich Moritz, Werner Pauer

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2019

Research article
Measurement of hydrogen peroxide vapor in powders with potassium titanium oxide oxalate loaded cellulose pellets as probes
AAPS PharmSciTech, Volume 21(1):3, 11 Nov 2019
Maria H. Kastvig, Johan P. Bøtker, Ge Ge, Mogens L. Andersen

Research article
Wurster Fluidised Bed Coating of Microparticles: Towards Scalable Production of Oral Sustained-Release Liquid Medicines for Patients with Swallowing Difficulties
AAPS PharmSciTech, Volume 21(1):3, 11 Nov 2019
Valentyn Mohylyuk, Kavil Patel, Nathan Scott, Craig Richardson, Darragh Murnane, Fang Liu

Research article
Assessment of the effect of Cellets’ particle size on the flow in a Wurster fluid-bed coater via powder rheology
Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Volume 54, December 2019, 101320
Valentyn Mohylyuk, Ioanna Danai Styliari, Dmytryi Novykov, Reiss Pikett, Rajeev Dattani

Research article
Particle electrification in an apparatus with a draft tube operating in a fast circulating dilute spout-fluid bed regime
Particuology, Volume 42, February 2019, Pages 146-153
Wojciech Ludwig

Research article
Development and evaluation of budesonide-based modified-release liquid oral dosage forms
Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Volume 54, December 2019, 101273
Federica Ronchi, Antonio Sereno, Maxime Paide, Ismaël Hennia, Pierre Sacré, George Guillaume, Vincent Stéphenne, Jonathan Goole, Karim Amighi

Research article
Evaluation of in-line particle measurement with an SFT-probe as monitoring tool for process automation using a new time-based buffer approach
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 128, 1 February 2019, Pages 162-170
Theresa Reimers, Jochen Thies, Stefan Dietrich, Julian Quodbach, Miriam Pein-Hackelbusch

Research article
In vitro and sensory tests to design easy-to-swallow multi-particulate formulations
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 132, 30 April 2019, Pages 157-162
Marco Marconati, Felipe Lopez, Catherine Tuleu, Mine Orlu, Marco Ramaioli

Research article
Numerical study of the hydrodynamics of fluidized beds operated under sub-atmospheric pressure
Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 372, 15 September 2019, Pages 1134-1153
Sayali Zarekar, Andreas Bück, Michael Jacob, Evangelos Tsotsas

Research article
Solidification of carvedilol loaded SMEDDS by swirling fluidized bed pellet coating
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 566, 20 July 2019, Pages 89-100
J. Mandić, M. Luštrik, F. Vrečer, M. Gašperlin, A. Zvonar Pobirk

Research article
Quantitative bin flow analysis of particle discharge using X-ray radiography
Powder Technology, Volume 344, 15 February 2019, Pages 693-705
Sanket Bacchuwar, Vidya Vidyapati, Ke-ming Quan, Chen-Luh Lin, Jan D. Miller

Research article
Adjustment of triple shellac coating for precise release of bioactive substances with different physico-chemical properties in the ileocolonic region
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 564, 10 June 2019, Pages 472-484>
Eva-Maria Theismann, Julia Katharina Keppler, Jörg-Rainer Knipp, Daniela Fangmann, Esther Appel, Stanislav N. Gorb, Georg H. Waetzig, Stefan Schreiber, Matthias Laudes, Karin Schwarz

Research article
The analysis of the influence of the normal restitution coefficient model on calculated particles velocities by means of Eulerian-Lagrangian approach
Powder Technology, Volume 344, 15 February 2019, Pages 140-151
Wojciech Ludwig, PaweƚPłuszka

Research article
Measurement of granule layer thickness in a spouted bed coating process via optical coherence tomography
Powder Technology, Volume 356, November 2019, Pages 139-147
Swantje Pietsch, Anna Peter, Patrick Wahl, Johannes Khinast, Stefan Heinrich

Research article
A novel method of quantifying the coating progress in a three-dimensional prismatic spouted bed
Particuology, Volume 42, February 2019, Pages 137-145
Swantje Pietsch, Finn Ole Poppinga, Stefan Heinrich, Michael Müller, Michael Schönherr, Frank Kleine Jäger

Research article
Development and evaluation of an omeprazole-based delayed-release liquid oral dosage form
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 567, 15 August 2019, 118416
Federica Ronchi, Antonio, Sereno, Maxime Paide, Pierre Sacré, George Guillaume, Vincent Stéphenne, Jonathan Goole, Karim Amighi

Research article
Influence of separation properties and processing strategies on product characteristics in continuous fluidized bed spray granulation
Powder Technology, Volume 342, 15 January 2019, Pages 572-584
Daniel Müller, Andreas Bück, Evangelos Tsotsas

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2018

Short communication
Novel production method of tracer particles for residence time measurements in gas-solid processes
Powder Technology, Volume 338, October 2018, Pages 1-6
Swantje Pietsch, Paul Kieckhefen, Michael Müller, Michael Schönherr, Frank Kleine Jäger, Stefan Heinrich

Research article
The effect of administration media on palatability and ease of swallowing of multiparticulate formulations
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 551, Issues 1–2, 15 November 2018, Pages 67-75
Felipe L. Lopez, Terry B. Ernest, Mine Orlu, CatherineTuleu

Research article
Compressibility and tablet forming ability of bimodal granule mixtures: Experiments and DEM simulations
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 540, Issues 1–2, 5 April 2018, Pages 120-131
Josefina Nordström, Göran Alderborn, Göran Frenning

Research article
Effects of pharmaceutical processes on the quality of ethylcellulose coated pellets: Quality by design approach
Powder Technology, Volume 339, November 2018, Pages 25-38
Prakash Thapa, Ritu Thapa, Du Hyung Choi, Seong Hoon Jeong

Research article
Euler-Lagrange model of particles circulation in a spout-fluid bed apparatus for dry coating
Powder Technology, Volume 328, 1 April 2018, Pages 375-388
Wojciech Ludwig, Paweł Płuszka

Research article
Inline acoustic monitoring to determine fluidized bed performance during pharmaceutical coating
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 549, Issues 1–2, 5 October 2018, Pages 293-298
Allan Carter, Lauren Briens

Research article
Sifting segregation of ideal blends in a two-hopper tester: Segregation profiles and segregation magnitudes
Powder Technology, Volume 331, 15 May 2018, Pages 60-67
Mariagrazia Marucci, Banien Al-Saaigh, Catherine Boissier, Marie Wahlgren, Håkan Wikström

Conference abstract
Multiple unit mini-tablets: Content uniformity issues
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 536, Issue 2, 5 February 2018, Pages 506-507
Anna Kira Adam, Jörg Breitkreutz

Research article
Influence of gas inflow modelling on CFD-DEM simulations of three-dimensional prismatic spouted beds
Powder Technology, Volume 329, 15 April 2018, Pages 167-180
Paul Kieckhefen, Swantje Pietsch, Moritz Höfert, Michael Schönherr, Stefan Heinrich, Frank Kleine Jäger

Research article
A redispersible dry emulsion system with simvastatin prepared via fluid bed layering as a means of dissolution enhancement of a lipophilic drug
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 549, Issues 1–2, 5 October 2018, Pages 325-334
Mitja Pohlen, Luka Pirker, Matevž Luštrik, Rok Dreu

Review article
Overview of PAT process analysers applicable in monitoring of film coating unit operations for manufacturing of solid oral dosage forms
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 111, 1 January 2018, Pages 278-292
Klemen Korasa, Franc Vrečer

Research article
On the properties and application of beeswax, carnauba wax and palm fat mixtures for hot melt coating in fluidized beds
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 29, Issue 3, March 2018, Pages 781-788
M.G. Müller, J.A. Lindner, H. Briesen, K. Sommer, P. Foerst

Research article
Novel hydrophilic matrix system with non-uniform drug distribution for zero-order release kinetics
Journal of Controlled Release, Volume 287, 10 October 2018, Pages 247-256
Matteo Cerea, Alessandra Maroni, Luca Palugan, Marco Bellini, Anastasia Foppoli, Alice Melocchi, Lucia Zema, Andrea Gazzaniga

Research article
Role of plasticizer in membrane coated extended release oral drug delivery system
Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, Volume 44, April 2018, Pages 231-243
Pinak Khatri, Dipen Desai, Namdev Shelke, Tamara Minko

Research article
Evaluation of pellet cycle times in a Wurster chamber using a photoluminescence method
Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume 132, April 2018, Pages 1170-1179
Domen Kitak, Rok Šibanc, Rok Dreu

Research article
Influence of perforated draft tube air intake on a pellet coating process
Powder Technology, Volume 330, 1 May 2018, Pages 114-124
Matevž Luštrik, Rok Dreu, Matjaž Perpar

Research article
Optimising the in vitro and in vivo performance of oral cocrystal formulations via spray coating
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 124, March 2018, Pages 13-27
Dolores R. Serrano, David Walsh, Peter O’Connell, Naila A. Mugheirbi, Zelalem Ayenew Worku, Francisco Bolas-Fernandez, Carolina Galiana, Maria Auxiliadora Dea-Ayuela, Anne Marie Healy

Research article

Research article
Mechanics of Pharmaceutical Pellets—Constitutive Properties, Deformation, and Breakage Behavior
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 107, Issue 2, February 2018, Pages 571-586
Alexander Russell, Rok Šibanc, Rok Dreu, Peter Müller

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2017

Research article
Production of composite particles using an innovative continuous dry coating process derived from extrusion
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 28, Issue 11, November 2017, Pages 2875-2885
Fanny Cavaillès, Romain Sescousse, Alain Chamayou, Laurence Galet

Research article
Determination of the release mechanism of Theophylline from pellets coated with Surelease®—A water dispersion of ethyl cellulose
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 528, Issues 1–2, 7 August 2017, Pages 345-353
Jurgita Kazlauske, Maria Margherita Cafaro, Diego Caccavo, Mariagrazia Marucci, Gaetano Lamberti, Anna Angela Barba, Anette Larsson

Research article
In-line monitoring of multi-layered film-coating on pellets using Raman spectroscopy by MCR and PLS analyses
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 114, May 2017, Pages 194-201
Jin Hisazumi, Peter Kleinebudde

Research article
Analysis of pellet coating uniformity using a computer scanner
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 533, Issue 2, 30 November 2017, Pages 377-382
Rok Šibanc, Matevž Luštrik, Rok Dreu

Research article
Modeling of particle velocities in an apparatus with a draft tube operating in a fast circulating dilute spout-fluid bed regime
Powder Technology, Volume 319, September 2017, Pages 332-345
Wojciech Ludwig, Daniel Zając

Research article
UV imaging of multiple unit pellet system (MUPS) tablets: A case study of acetylsalicylic acid stability
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 119, October 2017, Pages 447-453
Anna Novikova, Jens M. Carstensen, Thomas Rades, Claudia S. Leopold

Research article
New hybrid CPU-GPU solver for CFD-DEM simulation of fluidized beds
Powder Technology, Volume 316, 1 July 2017, Pages 233-244
H.R. Norouzi, R. Zarghami, N. Mostoufi

Research article
A top coating strategy with highly bonding polymers to enable direct tableting of multiple unit pellet system (MUPS)
Powder Technology, Volume 305, January 2017, Pages 591-596
Frederick Osei-Yeboah, Yidan Lan, Changquan Calvin Sun

Research article
Synthesis and melt processing of cellulose esters for preparation of thermoforming materials and extended drug release tablets
Carbohydrate Polymers, Volume 177, 1 December 2017, Pages 105-115
Sanna Virtanen, Riku Talja, Sauli Vuoti

Research article
Downstream drug product processing of itraconazole nanosuspension: Factors influencing drug particle size and dissolution from nanosuspension-layered beads
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 524, Issues 1–2, 30 May 2017, Pages 443-453
Johannes Parmentier, En Hui Tan, Ariana Low, Jan Peter Möschwitzer

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2016

Research article
In-line particle size measurement and agglomeration detection of pellet fluidized bed coating by Spatial Filter Velocimetry
Powder Technology, Volume 301, November 2016, Pages 261-267
Dimitri Wiegel, Günter Eckardt, Florian Priese, Bertram Wolf

Research article
Effect of formulation variables on oral grittiness and preferences of multiparticulate formulations in adult volunteers
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 92, 20 September 2016, Pages 156-162
Felipe L. Lopez, Alexandra Bowles, Mine Orlu Gul, David Clapham, Terry B. Ernest, Catherine Tuleu

Research article
Micropellet-loaded rods with dose-independent sustained release properties for individual dosing via the Solid Dosage Pen
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 499, Issues 1–2, 29 February 2016, Pages 271-279
Eva Julia Laukamp, Klaus Knop, Markus Thommes, Joerg Breitkreutz

Research article
Multivariate calibration of the degree of crystallinity in intact pellets by X-ray powder diffraction
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 502, Issues 1–2, 11 April 2016, Pages 107-116
Krisztina Nikowitz, Attila Domján, Klára Pintye-Hódi, Géza Regdon jr.

Research article
Towards improving quality of video-based vehicle counting method for traffic flow estimation
Signal Processing, Volume 120, March 2016, Pages 672-681
Yingjie Xia, Xingmin Shi, Guanghua Song, Qiaolei Geng, Yuncai Liu

Conference abstract
Multiple-unit orodispersible mini-tablets
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 511, Issue 2, 25 September 2016, Page 1128
Anna Kira Adam, Christian Zimmer, Stefan Rauscher, Jörg Breitkreutz

Research article
Asymmetric distribution in twin screw granulation
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 106, September 2016, Pages 50-58
Tim Chan Seem, Neil A. Rowson, Ian Gabbott, Marcelde Matas, Gavin K. Reynolds, AndyIngram

Research article
Measurement of particle concentration in a Wurster coater draft tube using light attenuation
Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume 110, June 2016, Pages 20-31
R. Šibanc, I. Žun, R. Dreu

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2015

Research article
Two-dimensional particle shape analysis from chord measurements to increase accuracy of particle shape determination
Powder Technology, Volume 284, November 2015, Pages 25-31
D. Petrak, S. Dietrich, G. Eckardt, M. Köhler

Research article
Passive acoustic emission monitoring of pellet coat thickness in a fluidized bed
Powder Technology, Volume 286, December 2015, Pages 172-180
Taylor Sheahan, Lauren Briens

Research article
Tabletability Modulation Through Surface Engineering
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 104, Issue 8, August 2015, Pages 2645-2648
Frederick Osei-Yeboah, Changquan Calvin Sun

Research article
Cellulose CELLETS as new type of adsorbent for the removal of dyes from aqueous media
Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, Volume 14, Issue 3, March 2015, Pages 525-532
Daniela Suteu, Gabriela Biliuta, Lacramioara Rusu, Sergiu Coseri, Gabriela Nacu

Research article
Formulation and process optimization of multiparticulate pulsatile system delivered by osmotic pressure-activated rupturable membrane
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 480, Issues 1–2, 1 March 2015, Pages 15-26
Sheng-Feng Hung, Chien-Ming Hsieh, Ying-Chen Chen, Cheng-Mao Lin, Hsiu-O Ho, Ming-Thau Sheu

Research article
Dry Coating Characterization of Coverage by Image Analysis: Methodology
Procedia Engineering, Volume 102, 2015, Pages 81-88
Olivier Lecoq, Fredj Kaouach, Alain Chamayou

Research article
Passive acoustic emissions monitoring of the coating of pellets in a fluidized bed—A feasibility analysis
Powder Technology, Volume 283, October 2015, Pages 373-379
Taylor Sheahan, Lauren Briens

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2014

Research article
A New Apparatus for Real‐Time Assessment of the Particle Size Distribution of Disintegrating Tablets
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 103, Issue 11, November 2014, Pages 3657-3665
Julian Quodbach, Peter Kleinebudde

Research article
In-line spatial filtering velocimetry for particle size and film thickness determination in fluidized-bed pellet coating processes
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 88, Issue 3, November 2014, Pages 931-938
Friederike Folttmann, Klaus Knop, Peter Kleinebudde, Miriam Pein

Research article
On-line monitoring of fluid bed granulation by photometric imaging
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 88, Issue 3, November 2014, Pages 879-885
Ira Soppela, Osmo Antikainen, Niklas Sandler, Jouko Yliruusi

Research article
Application properties of oral gels as media for administration of minitablets and pellets to paediatric patients
International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Volume 460, Issues 1–2, 2 January 2014, Pages 228-233

Anna Kluk, Malgorzata Sznitowska

Research article
In-line monitoring of pellet coating thickness growth by means of visual imaging
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 470, Issues 1–2, 15 August 2014, Pages 8-14
Nika Oman Kadunc, Rok Šibanc, Rok Dreu, Boštjan Likar, Dejan Tomaževič

Research article
Optical microscopy as a comparative analytical technique for single-particle dissolution studies
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 469, Issue 1, 20 July 2014, Pages 10-16
Sami Svanbäck, Henrik Ehlers, Jouko Yliruusi

Research article
Formulation of itraconazole nanococrystals and evaluation of their bioavailability in dogs
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 87, Issue 1, May 2014, Pages 107-113
Lieselotte De Smet, Lien Saerens, Thomas De Beer, Robert Carleer, Peter Adriaensens, Jan Van Bocxlaer, Chris Vervaet, Jean PaulRemon

Research article
Global monitoring of fluidized-bed processes by means of microwave cavity resonances
Measurement, Volume 55, September 2014, Pages 520-535
Johan Nohlert, Livia Cerullo, Johan Winges, Thomas Rylander, Tomas McKelvey, Anders Holmgren, Lubomir Gradinarsky, Staffan Folestad, Mats Viberg, Anders Rasmuson

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2013

Research article
Water-mediated solid-state transformation of a polymorphic drug during aqueous-based drug-layer coating of pellets
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 456, Issue 1, 1 November 2013, Pages 41-48
Andres Lust, Satu Lakio, Julia Vintsevits, Jekaterina Kozlova, Peep Veski, Jyrki Heinämäki, Karin Kogermann

Research article
Preparation and characterization of controlled-release doxazosin mesylate pellets using a simple drug layering-aquacoating technique
Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation (2013), 43:333–342. doi: 10.1007/s40005-013-0077-0
H. A. Hazzah, M. A. EL-Massik, O. Y. Abdallah & H. Abdelkader

Research article
Development of high drug loaded pellets by Design of Experiment and population balance model calculation
Powder Technology, Volume 241, June 2013, Pages 149-157
Florian Priese, Bertram Wolf

Research article
Particle sizing measurements in pharmaceutical applications: Comparison of in-process methods versus off-line methods
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 85, Issue 3, Part B, November 2013, Pages 1006-1018
Ana F.T. Silva, Anneleen Burggraeve, Quenten Denon, Paul Van der Meeren, Niklas Sandler, Tom Van Den Kerkhof, Mario Hellings, Chris Vervaet, Jean Paul Remon, João Almeida Lopes, Thomas De Beer

Research article
Physical properties of pharmaceutical pellets
Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 86, 4 February 2013, Pages 50-60
Rok Šibanc, Teja Kitak, Biljana Govedarica, StankoSrčič Rok Dreu

Research article
Continuous pellet coating in a Wurster fluidized bed process
Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 86, 4 February 2013, Pages 87-98
N. Hampel, A. Bück, M. Peglow, E. Tsotsas

Research article
Study of the recrystallization in coated pellets – Effect of coating on API crystallinity
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 48, Issue 3, 14 February 2013, Pages 563-571
Krisztina Nikowitz, Klára Pintye-Hódi, Géza Regdon Jr.

Research article
The influence of rolling friction on the shear behaviour of non-cohesive pharmaceutical granules – An experimental and numerical investigation
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 49, Issue 2, 13 May 2013, Pages 241-250
Ann-Sofie Persson, Göran Frenning

Research article
Characteristics of pellet flow in a Wurster coater draft tube utilizing piezoelectric probe
Powder Technology, Volume 235, February 2013, Pages 640-651
Matevž Luštrik, Rok Šibanc, Stanko Srčič, Matjaž Perpar, Iztok Žun, Rok Dreu

Research article
Estimating coating quality parameters on the basis of pressure drop measurements in a Wurster draft tube
Powder Technology, Volume 246, September 2013, Pages 41-50
Matjaž Perpar, Matevž Luštrik, Rok Dreu, Stanko Srčič, Iztok Žun

Research article
Influence of Non-Water-Soluble Placebo Pellets of Different Sizes on the Characteristics of Orally Disintegrating Tablets Manufactured by Freeze-Drying
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 102, Issue 6, June 2013, Pages 1786-1799
Ulrike Stange, Christian Führling, Henning Gieseler

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2012

Research article
A density-based segmentation for 3D images, an application for X-ray micro-tomography
Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 725, 6 May 2012, Pages 14-21
Thanh N. Tran, Thanh T. Nguyen, Tofan A. Willemsz, Gijsvan Kessel, Henderik W. Frijlink, Kees van der Voort Maarschalk

Research article
Attrition and abrasion resistance of particles coated with pre-mixed polymer coating systems
Powder Technology, Volume 230, November 2012, Pages 1-13
G. Perfetti, F. Depypere, S. Zafari, P. van Hee, W.J. Wildeboer, G. M. H. Meesters

Research article
New spout-fluid bed apparatus for electrostatic coating of fine particles and encapsulation
Powder Technology, Volume 225, July 2012, Pages 52-57
Roman G. Szafran, Wojciech Ludwig, Andrzej Kmiec

Research article
Particle size and packing characterization by diffuse light transmission
Particuology Volume 10, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 619-627
Henrik Ehlers, Jyrki Heinämäki, Jouko Yliruusi

Research article
Dry Powder Coating in a Modified Wurster Apparatus
Procedia Engineering, Volume 42, 2012, Pages 437-446
W. Ludwig, R.G. Szafran, A. Kmiec, J. Dziak

Research article
Attrition strength of water-soluble cellulose derivative coatings applied on different core materials
Powder Technology, Volume 222, May 2012, Pages 71-79
Katarzyna Nienaltowska, Frédéric Depypere, Giacomo Perfetti, Gabrie M.H. Meesters, Frederik Ronsse, Jan G. Pieters, Koen Dewettinck

Research article
An experimental evaluation of the accuracy to simulate granule bed compression using the discrete element method
Powder Technology, Volume 219, March 2012, Pages 249-256
Ann-Sofie Persson, Göran Frenning

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2011

Research article
Dry particle high coating of biopowders: An energy approach
Powder Technology, Volume 208, Issue 2, 25 March 2011, Pages 378-382
S. Otles, O. Lecoq, J. A. Dodds

Research article
A density based segmentation method to determine the coordination number of a particulate system
Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 66, Issue 24, 15 December 2011, Pages 6385-6392
Thanh T. Nguyen, Thanh N. Tran, Tofan A. Willemsz, Henderik W. Frijlink, Tuomas Ervasti, Jarkko Ketolainen, Kees van der Voort Maarschalk

Research article
Study of the preparation of a multiparticulate drug delivery system with a layering technique
Powder Technology, Volume 205, Issues 1–3, 10 January 2011, Pages 155-159
Krisztina Nikowitz, Péter Kása Jr., Klára Pintye-Hódi, Géza Regdon Jr.

Research article
Effect of annealing time and addition of lactose on release of a model substance from Eudragit® RS coated pellets produced by a fluidized bed coater
Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume 89, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 697-705
Ulrich M. Heckötter, Anette Larsson, Pornsak Sriamornsak, Mont Kumpugdee-Vollrath

Research article
Suspension pellet layering using PVA–PEG graft copolymer as a new binder
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 412, Issues 1–2, 30 June 2011, Pages 28-36
L. Suhrenbrock, G. Radtke, K. Knop, P. Kleinebudde

Research article
In-line particle sizing for real-time process control by fibre-optical spatial filtering technique (SFT)
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 22, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 203-208
Petrak Dieter, Dietrich Stefan, Eckardt Günter, Köhler Michael

Research article
Flowability of surface modified pharmaceutical granules: A comparative experimental and numerical study
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 42, Issue 3, 14 February 2011, Pages 199-209
Ann-Sofie Persson, Göran Alderborn, Göran Frenning

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2010

Research article
Labscale fluidized bed granulator instrumented with non-invasive process monitoring devices
Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 164, Issues 2–3, 1 November 2010, Pages 268-274
Jari T. T. Leskinen, Matti-Antero H. Okkonen, Maunu M. Toiviainen, Sami Poutiainen, Mari Tenhunen, Pekka Teppola, Reijo Lappalainen, Jarkko Ketolainen, Kristiina Järvinen

Research article
X-ray micro tomography and image analysis as complementary methods for morphological characterization and coating thickness measurement of coated particles
Advanced Powder Technology, Volume 21, Issue 6, November 2010, Pages 663-675
Giacomo Perfetti, Elke Van de Casteele, Bernd Rieger, Willem J. Wildeboer, Gabrie M.H. Meesters

Research article
Granule size distribution of tablets
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 99, Issue 4, April 2010, Pages 2061-2069
Satu Virtanen, Osmo Antikainen, Heikki Räikkönen, Jouko Yliruusi

Research article
New insights into segregation during tabletting
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 397, Issues 1–2, 15 September 2010, Pages 19-26
S. Lakio, S. Siiriä, H. Räikkönen, S. Airaksinen, T. Närvänen, O. Antikainen, J.Yliruusi

Short communication
Can encapsulation lengthen the shelf-life of probiotic bacteria in dry products?
International Journal of Food Microbiology, Volume 136, Issue 3, 1 January 2010, Pages 364-367
F. Weinbreck, I. Bodnár, M.L. Marco

Research article
Evaluation of in-line spatial filter velocimetry as PAT monitoring tool for particle growth during fluid bed granulation
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 76, Issue 1, September 2010, Pages 138-146
A. Burggraeve, T. Van Den Kerkhof, M. Hellings, J.P. Remon, C. Vervaet, T. De Beera

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2009

Research article
Impact of polymers on dissolution performance of an amorphous gelleable drug from surface-coated beads
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 37, Issue 1, 11 April 2009, Pages 1-10
Chon gFan, Rashmi Pai-Thakur, Wantanee Phuapradit, Lin Zhang, Hung Tian, Waseem Malick, Navnit Shah, M. Serpil Kislalioglu

Short communication
Raman spectroscopic investigation of film thickness
Polymer Testing, Volume 28, Issue 7, October 2009, Pages 770-772
T. Sovány, K. Nikowitz, G. Regdon Jr., P. Kása Jr., K. Pintye-Hódi

Research article
In vivo evaluation of the vaginal distribution and retention of a multi-particulate pellet formulation
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 73, Issue 2, October 2009, Pages 280-284
Nele Poelvoorde, Hans Verstraelen, Rita Verhelst, Bart Saerens, Ellen De Backer, Guido Lopes dos Santos Santiago, Chris Vervaet, Mario Vaneechoutte, Fabienne De Boeck, Luc Van Borteld, Marleen Temmerman, Jean-Paul Remon

Research article
Modulating pH-independent release from coated pellets: Effect of coating composition on solubilization processes and drug release
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 72, Issue 1, May 2009, Pages 111-118
Simon Ensslin, Klaus Peter Moll, Hendrik Metz, Markus Otz, Karsten Mäder

Research article
Dry Particle High-Impact Coating of Biopowders: Coating Strength
Particulate Science and Technology, Volume 27(4), 2009
S. Ötles, O. Lecoq, J. A. Dodds

Research article

Formulation and Analytical Development for Low-Dose Oral Drug Products
John Wiley & Sons , inc. (2009), ISBN 978-0-470-05609-7
Jack Zheng (Editor)

List – Publications with MCC spheres, 2008 and earlier

Research article
Attrition strength of different coated agglomerates
Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 63, Issue 5, March 2008, Pages 1361-1369
B. van Laarhoven, S.C.A. Wiers, S.H. Schaafsma, G.M.H. Meesters

Research article
Direct Drug Loading into Preformed Porous Solid Dosage Units by the Controlled Particle Deposition (CPD), a New Concept for Improved Dissolution Using SCF-Technology
Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 97, Issue 10, October 2008, Pages 4416-4424
Ragna S. Wischumerski, Michael Türk, Martin A. Wahl

Research article
Optimisation of an enteric coated, layered multi-particulate formulation for ileal delivery of viable recombinant Lactococcus lactis
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 69, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 969-976
Nele Poelvoorde, Nathalie Huyghebaert, Chris Vervaet, Jean-Paul Remon

Research article
Dynamic rearrangement of disulfide bridges influences solubility of whey protein coatings
International Dairy Journal, Volume 18, Issue 5, May 2008, Pages 566-573
René Floris, Igor Bodnár, Fanny Weinbreck, Arno C. Alting

Research article
New insight into modified release pellets – Internal structure and drug release mechanism
Journal of Controlled Release, Volume 128, Issue 2, 4 June 2008, Pages 149-156
Simon Ensslin, Klaus Peter Moll, Kurt Paulus, Karsten Mäder

Research article
Development of an enteric-coated, layered multi-particulate formulation for ileal delivery of viable recombinant Lactococcus lactis
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 61, Issue 3, October 2005, Pages 134-141
Nathalie Huyghebaert, An Vermeire, Pieter Rottiers, Erik Remaut, Jean Paul Remon

Research article
Evaluation of extrusion/spheronisation, layering and compaction for the preparation of an oral, multi-particulate formulation of viable, hIL-10 producing Lactococcus lactis
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 59, Issue 1, January 2005, Pages 9-15
Nathalie Huyghebaert, An Vermeire, Sabine Neirynck, Lothar Steidler, Eric Remaut, Jean Paul Remon

Research article
Liquid absorption capacity of carriers in the food technology
Powder Technology, Volume 134, Issue 3, 30 September 2003, Pages 201-209
Heidi Lankes, Karl Sommer, Bernd Weinreich


The primary objective of this research is to investigate the design and size on particle coating thickness. Furthermore,  illustrate how the design, size, and configurations of fluid-bed coating machinery influence variations in pellet coating thickness. This parameter plays a crucial role in governing the release of medication in prolonged-release pellets. Initially, the scientists conducted a series of coating experiments where the pellet cores were coated with Tartrazine dye. The aim was to evaluate the performance of the coating equipment in terms of the distribution of coating thickness, which was assessed based on color hue.

In the subsequent set of experiments, drug-layered pellets underwent film-coating with prolonged-release material. Brezovar et al. conducted dissolution profile tests to gauge the uniformity and thickness of the coating among pellets of different sizes. Pellets of kind CELLETS® 700 (IPC Dresden, Germany) had been employed. This investigation encompassed both laboratory and pilot scale applications. Laboratory-sized fluid-bed coaters GPCG1 (Glatt GmbH, Germany and BX FBD10, Brinox d.o.o., Slovenia) and a pilot-sized (BX FBD30, Brinox d.o.o., Slovenia) fluid-bed coater are used for these tests. The group made comparisons between two types of distribution plates and various adjustments in the height of the draft tube.

The dye coating study yielded highly valuable insights. The results provided the basis for refining the process and optimizing the utilization of process equipment, especially in conjunction with the appropriate process parameters. On the laboratory scale, we observed a preference for film coating larger drug-containing pellets. However, on the pilot scale, we achieved a preferential coating of smaller pellets through judicious adjustments, a development that holds significance in achieving a drug release profile independent of particle size for prolonged-release dosage forms.

Link to publication:

The Effect of Design and Size of the Fluid‑Bed Equipment on the Particle Size‑Dependent Trend of Particle Coating Thickness and Drug Prolonged‑Release Profile
AAPS PharmSciTech (2023) 24, 93. doi:10.1208/s12249-023-02540-9
T. Brezovar, G. Hudovornik, M. Perpar, M. Luštrik, R. Dreu


Pellets are one of multiparticulate pharmaceutical forms and can offer numerous technical and biopharmaceutical advantages compared with single dose unit formulations, e.g. tablets and capsules. This study aimed at formulation of controlled-release pellets of doxazosin mesylate (DM), a widely used treatment for antihypertensive and benign prostatic hyperplasia. DM was loaded onto microcrystalline cellulose CELLETS® pellets using hydroalcoholic solution and alcoholic suspension layering techniques to achieve a minimum drug load of 4 mg DM/g pellets. DM-layered CELLETS were coated by Aquacoat dispersion (ready-made ethylcellulose dispersion) using a coating pan technique as a simple and widely utilized technique in pharmaceutical industry. Controlled-release DM-layered pellets showed a release profile comparable to the controlled-release commercial product Cardura® XL Tablet. Also, the mechanism of DM release from Aquacoat CELLETS® was mathematically modeled and imaged by scanning electron microscopy to elucidate drug release mechanisms from the prepared pellet formulations. Accelerated stability studies of the prepared pellets were performed under stress conditions of 40 °C, and 75 % RH for 3 months. In conclusion, preparation of controlled-release DM-layered CELLETS® is feasible using a simple and conventional coating pan technology. Read more about controlled-release doxazosin mesylate pellets.


H. A. Hazzah, M. A. EL-Massik, O. Y. Abdallah & H. Abdelkader, Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation (2013), 43:333–342. doi:10.1007/s40005-013-0077-0

Additional information

CELLETS® are perfect starter beads for coating and layering of API, such as doxazosin mesylate. Multilayer formulation attempts enable defined release profiles and improved bioavailability. Check different pellet sizes from 100 µm to 1400 µm which fit to your formulation.

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Contact our partner Glatt Pharmaceutical Services!

Pore Former basic drugs


Bioavailability of weakly basic drugs may be disrupted by dramatic pH changes or unexpected pH alterations in the gastrointestinal tract. Conventional organic acids or enteric coating polymers cannot address this problem adequately because they leach out or dissolve prematurely, especially during controlled release applications. Thus, a non-leachable, multifunctional terpolymer nanoparticle (TPN) made of cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA)-polysorbate 80-grafted-starch (PMAA-PS 80-g-St) was proposed to provide pH transition-independent release of a weakly basic drug, verapamil HCl (VER), by a rationally designed bilayer-coated controlled release bead formulation. The pH-responsive PMAA and cross-linker content in the TPN was first optimized to achieve the largest possible increase in medium uptake alongside the smallest decrease in drug release rate at pH 6.8, relative to pH 1.2. Such TPNs maintained an acidic microenvironmental pH (pHm) when loaded in ethylcellulose (EC) films, as measured using pH-indicating dyes. Further studies of formulations revealed that with the 1:2 VER:TPN ratio and 19% coating weight gain, bilayer-coated beads maintained a constant release rate over the pH transition and exhibited extended release up to 18 h. These results demonstrated that the multifunctional TPN as a pHm modifier and pH-dependent pore former could overcome the severe pH-dependent solubility of weakly basic drugs.


Many existing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) (drug compounds) are either weak acids or weak bases; their water solubility can change significantly with the lumen pH changes along the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) as a result of variation in the ionization degree. Severe pH-dependent solubility could pose a great challenge to achieving consistent and predictable performance of oral dosage forms, as abrupt changes in release rate may result in unexpected dissolution, absorption, and bioavailability of the drug, leading to increased risks of adverse side effects or decreased therapeutic efficacy. This problem may be pronounced for weakly basic drugs with low solubility at high pH, especially those with a narrow therapeutic index, or requiring prolonged release, because in the lower GIT the pH is >6.8 [1]. Furthermore, food intake, disease state (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, colitis), concomitant medication (e.g., proton pump inhibitors), and inter- and intra-individual variations, among other factors, can alter the pH in the GIT, which deviates from the pH of simulated gastric and intestinal fluid for in vitro testing and prediction [2,3,4]. Hence, novel strategies to formulate weakly basic drugs with extreme pH-dependent solubility in controlled release forms could enhance the repertoire of advanced medications available to patients.
To compensate for the varying pH values in the GIT, several approaches have been employed. One approach is the addition of small-molecule pH modifiers to the immediate vicinity of the drug to change the microenvironmental pH (pHm), thus enhancing the drug solubility. For example, organic acids (e.g., adipic, fumaric, and succinic acids) have been introduced into formulations of weakly basic drugs, reducing the pHm sufficiently, thereby facilitating drug dissolution, irrespective of the pH of the bulk solvent [5,6,7,8,9,10,11]. Drug release will depend on the compatibility of the organic acid with the drug in terms of the buffering capacity of organic acids and the pKa of the drug. Nevertheless, the incorporation of organic acids remains challenging as they are prone to leach out from the formulation, leading to inefficient pH modulation over time [12]. Therefore, large amounts of organic acids are required in order to achieve prolonged pH-independent drug release [5,13], which often makes this approach inadequate for controlled release formulations.
Another approach to compensate for the reduction in drug solubility is the use of enteric coating polymers on tablets, pellets, or beads as permeability modifiers, which can increase drug permeability at higher pH. In such coatings, polymers with pH-dependent solubility or swellability are employed, either alone or incorporated in a hydrophobic polymer (e.g., ethylcellulose (EC)) that acts as a membrane barrier to drug diffusion, resulting in slowed drug release. For example, methacrylic acid–ethyl acrylate copolymer (Eudragit® L) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate are frequently incorporated into these membranes as pore forming materials for pH-dependent release [13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23]. At a pH above their pKa’s, the pore formers dissolve and leach out of the membrane film to form channels that facilitate drug diffusion. However, as pore formers leach out, the film becomes more porous and weaker, increasing the risk of dose dumping due to weakened structure or ruptures of the coating [24].
Recent advances using biopolymer-based nanomaterials, molecular imprinted polymers, and mathematical and computational models have been used to address the various challenges of drug delivery systems [25,26,27,28,29]. Biopolymers such as starch, collagen, chitosan, etc., are useful for their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ease of synthesis and modifications [25]. Controlled release dosage forms capable of being flexible, releasing drugs in a timely manner, with desired duration and dosage, are more important than ever, and mathematical and computational models also function as influential tools in addressing the potential mechanisms or impediments of drug delivery systems [26,27,28,29].
Previously, a crosslinked terpolymer nanoparticle (TPN), consisting of poly(methacrylic acid)-polysorbate 80-grafted-starch (PMAA-PS 80-g-St) [30,31,32,33], was incorporated into ethylcellulose films (TPN-EC) to respectively reduce or enhance the permeability of the film coating by a pH-dependent shrinking (at low pH) and swelling (at high pH) mechanism [34]. Unlike other soluble polymeric pore-formers, the TPN did not increase the viscosity of EC dispersions for coating, attributable to its crosslinking structure [31,32,33]. For the same reason, TPN did not leach out from cast TPN-EC films, maintaining good mechanical properties compared to conventional Eudragit® L-EC films. When used as a membrane coating over beads loaded with a water-soluble drug, diltiazem HCl, TPN-EC provided faster drug release at pH 6.8 than at pH 1.2 [34]. The biocompatibility of TPN was demonstrated previously in vitro using isolated rat hepatocytes [32].
Inspired by previous findings regarding the pH-dependent properties of TPN, in this work, we explore the application of TPN for the first time to develop an advanced, controlled release bilayer-coated bead formulation for weakly basic drugs that exhibits severe pH-dependent water solubility. Verapamil HCl (VER) was selected as a model drug because it undergoes extreme decrease in solubility by several orders of magnitude when the media pH is increased from acidic to neutral and weakly basic conditions [9,35]. By exploiting the pH-dependence of TPN, we proposed that an increase in permeability at high pH could help compensate for the low solubility of the drug in its unionized form, thereby permitting a constant release rate when transitioning from gastric to intestinal pH. Additionally, we explored the ability of TPN to serve as a pHm modifier, owing to the presence of its acidic functional groups in MAA. Because TPN is retained within EC, unlike traditional leachable pHm modifiers when formulated together with the drug in a matrix, the source of the acidifying agent could be sustained throughout dissolution, while preserving dosage form integrity.
To investigate the effectiveness of combining both the permeability and the pHm modulation strategies of TPN, experiments were performed using EC matrix free-films incorporated with VER and TPN (VER-TPN-EC) and a bilayer-coated bead design consisting of an inner VER-TPN-EC matrix, surrounded by an outer membrane composed of TPN-EC. As illustrated in Figure 1, the TPN composition was first adjusted by varying the amounts of the pH-responsive monomer, MAA, and cross-linker, N,N′-methylenebis(acrylamide) (MBA) for pH-dependent swelling (medium uptake) and drug release via experiments using composite free-films. The best-performing TPN-containing films were then tested for their ability to lower pHm. Subsequently, the TPN was incorporated into a bilayer-coated bead design, where it was expected to lower the pHm in the matrix layer and regulate permeability in the membrane layer by its pH-dependent swelling. The effects of formulation parameters such as VER:TPN ratio within the matrix layer and membrane coating level on the pH-independence of dissolution rate in various pH conditions were evaluated.
Figure 1. A flow chart of the optimization strategy to achieve pH transition-independent controlled release of VER from a TPN-containing bilayer-coated beads. Formulation strategy for TPN bilayer-coated beads containing weakly basic VER Optimization of TPN composition to achieve pHm modification and pH-dependent swelling, followed by strategic placement of TPN in the bilayer bead matrix and membrane layers are proposed to overcome pH-dependent solubility of VER. Figure created with (accessed on 15 December 2022).
Our cumulative research investigating the various applications of TPN (e.g., nanoparticle drug carrier in injectables, enteric coating agent and pore former in film coatings, recrystallization inhibitor in amorphous solid dispersions) is helping us widen the breadth of its capabilities. Namely, in the present research, the ability of TPN for pHm modification, pH-responsive swelling, nanoscale pore formation, interaction with drugs, and non-leachability comprise a set of multi-faceted features that set it apart from traditional excipients, which could improve the efficacy and quality of controlled release dosage forms for weakly basic drugs. As the landscape of new drug molecules continues to shift towards greater challenges (e.g., poor solubility, pH-dependent solubility, narrow therapeutic index, etc.) the need for more advanced, multifunctional excipients can be expected to increase.

Materials and Methods

2.1. Materials

Soluble corn starch, methacrylic acid (MAA), N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA), sodium thiosulfate (STS), potassium persulfate (KPS), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and sodium phosphate tribasic were purchased from Sigma Aldrich (Oakville, ON, Canada). Verapamil HCl (VER) was purchased from Spectrum Chemicals, (New Brunswick, NJ, USA). Hydrochloric acid (HCl) was purchased from Caledon (Georgetown, ON, Canada). SNARF-4F (#S23920) was purchased from Fisher Scientific (Ottawa, ON, Canada). Bromocresol green was purchased from Sigma Aldrich (Oakville, ON, Canada). Ethylcellulose (Surelease® E-7-19040) was kindly donated by Colorcon (West Point, PA, USA). Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) (Kollidon®/PVPK30) was kindly donated by BASF (Ludwigshaven, Germany). Polysorbate 80 (Tween 80-LQ-(CQ)) was kindly donated by Croda (Edison, NJ, USA). Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) beads ([…] annotation from the publisher: for example: CELLETS® 700) were used as the coating substrate […].


In this work, the multifunctionality of a nanogel TPN was investigated as a non-leachable pHm modifier and pH-responsive pore former in a bilayer-coated bead formulation for the pH transition-independent controlled release of weakly basic drugs. The results demonstrated that incorporation of TPN, comprised of pH-sensitive MAA and cross-linker MBA, enables the inner matrix layer of VER-TPN-EC to maintain a pHm approximately 1.5 unit lower than the external buffer pH, which may be further enhanced by coating with a TPN-EC membrane. In a simulated gastric and intestinal pH transition condition (i.e., from pH 1.2 to 6.8), the bilayer-coated beads with 16% to 19% WG resulted in a constant release rate during the pH transition, followed by a sustained release of VER up to 18 h, beyond the extent achieved when tested in single pH media. This ability to overcome the poor solubility of VER at high pH can be ascribed to the combinatory effects of the pH-dependent swelling of TPN that increased permeability, preferred retention of protons in the TPN due to Donnan equilibrium, pH-dependent complexation between MAA and VER, and the barrier to diffusion of buffer ions by the outer coating. This work suggests that the multifunctionality and tunability of TPN-EC formulations and the formulation design strategy may be expanded to tackle the challenges faced by other drugs with severe pH-dependence of water solubility.


Excerpt from: Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(2), 547; by Hao Han R. Chang, Kuan Chen, Jamie Anne Lugtu-Pe, Nour AL-Mousawi, Xuning Zhang, Daniel Bar-Shalom, Anil Kane, and Xiao Yu Wu.


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Coating uniformity of hot-melt coated particles Figure 2 (pure)


Coating uniformity is a critical parameter in coating processes in novel pharmaceutical formulations. Speaking about pellet technology, coating and layering are the main methods for implementing drug functionalities, such as modified release of the active, taste-masking properties and further more. Coating uniformity guaranties not only upholding functionalities of the formulation, but also prevent risks such as dose dumping.

This application note is based on a publication of Wörthmann et al. [1] and focuses on selected aspects which are related to starter cores.

Cellets 1000, magnification 100x

Figure 1: Microscopic image of Cellets® 1000, magnification 100x.

Materials and techniques

Coating was applied on highly spherical starter cores Cellets® 1000 (Figure 1). The pellets have a relatively narrow size distribution with a mean particle size of d­­­­50 = 1197 μm, a standard deviation of σ = 113 μm, and particle density of 1.4 g/cm3. For analyzing the coating uniformity, stearin (54 % stearic acid and palmitic acid) and hydrogenated palm oil were used. For the hot-melt coating experiments a lab-scale Wurster fluidized bed was used. The overspray rate was estimated to 8 % (w/w). Processed particles were analyzed by image analysis (Figure 2) and micro-computed-tomography (μCT) (Figure 3). 2D and 3D software analysis were further conducted for the evaluation of the sphere dimension, layer thickness and coating uniformity.

Figure 2 shows a wax-coated particle, where the coating thickness varies and delamination is clearly visible (Figure 3). Small pores and fractions of the coating layer area are obvious.

Coating uniformity of hot-melt coated particles Figure 1

Figure 2: Images of coated pellets are used for a stepwise evaluation of the particle shell thickness. A: original image; B: segmented coating layer. Further software calculation steps are not shown here.

These undesired artefacts result from imperfect parameters, such as spreading mechanism, temperature fluctuations, viscosity, or drop size.

The coating layer thickness is analyzed for three particles of the same batch (Figure 4) using 5 % (w/w) stearin at a spraying rate of 1 g/min. The layer thickness varies between approximately 2 µm to 30 µm. A mean coating thickness is found between 12 µm and 16 µm.

Coating uniformity of hot-melt coated particles Figure 2

Figure 3: Portion of a micro-computed-tomography image of a wax-coated particle showing.

Coating uniformity of hot-melt coated particles Figure 3

Figure 4: Relative frequency of the coating layer-thickness of three particle shells from the same batch using 5 % (w/w) stearin at a spraying rate of 1 g/min. Mean thicknesses: particle I (blue): 15.5 μm, particle II (red): 12.4 μm, and particle III (grey): 15.6 μm.

In terms of customer safety and of compliance aspects, not only statistical information about the layer thickness are of interest. In case of inhomogeneous layers, taste-masking functionalities or even uncontrolled dose dumping might occur. In this context, a single-particle analysis is mandatory. 3D µCT is a powerful tool, which is complementary to existing methods, such as laser imaging methods, 2D analysis or thickness estimations. The analyzed mean thickness deviates by approximately 13 % among these methods (Figure 5).

Coating uniformity of hot-melt coated particles Figure 4

Figure 5: Mean layer-thicknesses measured using different methods. Relative standard deviation: 13 %.


Microcrystalline cellulose pellets (Cellets®) are used to study coating uniformity. 3D μCT can be a powerful tool to assess the quality of the final product coating and facilitates the selection of an appropriate combination of core particles and coating material. 3D visualization methods allow a critical single-particle analysis with a resolution of up to 2 µm. Furthermore, the determination of the particle’s uncoated surface area can be specified.


Prof. Heiko Briesen, Mario Wörthmann (Technical University Munich) and team are gratefully acknowledged for serving content for this note.

Research was financially supported by the Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) and FEI (Germany) via project AiF 19970 N. Equipment funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany) 198187031.


[1] B.M. Woerthmann, J.A. Lindner, T. Kovacevic, P. Pergam, F. Schmid, H. Briesen, Powder Technology 378 (2021) 51–59


Cellets are inert starter cores made of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). They play an important role in new formulations of solid dosage forms. As a carrier system for actives, the chemical inertness and surface smoothness are crucial parameters. Additionally, high level of robustness and sphericity simplify formulations and technical processes, such as fluidized bed technologies for coating and layering. In a joint study between the University of Hertfordshire and Freeman Technology (a Micromeritics company), the effect of pellets’ size on the behavior in a Wurster process is explained. Wurster fluid bed coating of Cellets with particle size larger than 400 µm is unproblematic. However, decreasing the particle size begins to complicate the coating process. So, powder rheology was used to compare Cellets with different particle sizes in terms of their effect on the powder flow in the Wurster fluid bed coater. For deeper knowledge, we strongly recommend reading investigations by V. Mohylyuk et al. [1]


Cellets® 90, 100, 200 and 350 (D50-size from 94 µm to 424 μm, Ingredientpharm, Switzerland). MCC powder Avicel® PH-102 (supplied by IMCD UK Ltd., UK) is included in the investigations, as it is widely used in industry and can be used by readers for comparison with other studies.

Wurster fluid-bed

Wurster process is a bottom-spray method, employed as a coating technology, for layering powder-like particles in a fluidized bed system (Figure 1). The process can be separated in different zones of mass flow, such as the down-flow zone or the horizontal transport zone. The flowability in these zones is crucial for homogeneous and efficient coating of the particles.


Figure 1: Wurster process is a bottom-spray method for layering powder-like particles in a fluidized bed system.

Hereby, the size of particles might play an important role. The narrow size distribution of MCC pellets is shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3. Measured data is presented in Table 1.


Volume weightened size distribution of Cellets 90 (red, diamonds), Cellets 100 (orange, triangles), Cellets 200 (blue, circles), Cellets 350 (green, squares).

The compact Cellets with fair sphericity, zero friability and a high level of surface smoothness show a fair mass flow rate which is almost independent of particle size at given experimental conditions and was determined by the gravitational funnel method. The reference MCC powder did not flow through the orifice.

Excipient PSD
Flow rate
Avicel PH-102 115a 1.85 No flow
Cellets 90 94b 0.44 1.76
Cellets 100 163b 0.27 2.06
Cellets 200 270b 0.34 1.89
Cellets 350 424b 0.22 1.83

Table 1: Particle size distribution (D50) value and span by laser diffraction (a) and digital microscopy (b), and the mass flow rate by gravitational funnel method (5 mm diameter orifice) for the investigated excipients.

Impact of the Cellets’ size

The impact of the Cellets’ size on bulk powder behavior can only be estimated by screening additional parameters. In addition to the mass flow rate, standard pharmacopoeia methods such as bulk/tapped density were initially employed for the characterization of the powder’s properties. This was extended to rotating drum measurements providing the dynamic angle of repose and dynamic cohesivity index. Via powder rheology the conditioned bulk density, basic flowability energy, specific energy, pressure drop, permeability and compressibility (Figure 4) were obtained [1].

By picking the compressibility of Cellets at an applied force of 10 kPa normal stress, two key points need to be mentioned: (a) smaller particle size induces a higher rate of compressibility; (b) Cellets are less compressible than the reference MCC powder.

These findings are part of the open question on powder flow in a Wurster process. It is expected, that Cellets with a lower compressibility will result in better flow behavior in the fluidized bed.


Microscopic imaging of Cellets 100 (top left), 200 (top right), 350 (bottom left) with 1 mm scale bar and 100x magnification. Bottom right: surface of Cellets 350 in 1000x magnification.


Compressibility at 10 kPa normal stress on Cellets with varying particle size (D50) and Avicel® PH-102.


The flow of Cellets’ through a Wurster fluid-bed coater is likely to show improved performance as the Cellets’ particle size increases. Among others, a lower compressibility demonstrates a rheological behavior which is superior to MCC.


[1] Mohylyuk V, Styliari ID, Novykov D, Pikett R, Dattani R. Assessment of the effect of Cellets’ particle size on the flow in a Wurster fluid-bed coater via powder rheology. J D Deliv Sci Tec. 2019; 54: 101320, doi: 10.1016/j.jddst.2019.101320.



Several drug substances are known to be extremely bitter. In special for paediatric and geriatric applications, costumer compliance by means of taste acceptance is a highly sensitive topic. Taste masking is therefore an important issue in pharmaceutical industry of oral dosage forms not only to improve the compliance, but it is also used to define a unique taste identification by the costumer (competition advantages). This case study will focus on taste-masking of an API and on the optimization of release in the absorption window of the API.

Modifying the taste

Several methods are available to actively influence, hide or modify taste, such as the initial activation of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) by biotransformation [1], the complexation into the cavity of a complexing agent [2] or layering with coating substances [3] and other methods.

Among all these solutions, coating seems to be one of the best understood and most flexible methods. In terms of the API bitterness, mild and extreme bitter APIs are applicable. Additionally, coating [4] is well suited for high dosed API formulations. There are two main approaches: (1) direct coating of the bitter API particles in multiple unit pellet system (MUPS) tablets, or (2) global coating of the tablet which contains the bitter API.

In this case study, we focus on the direct coating of API in a formulation based on starter cores as the unit pellet system. CELLETS® 200 are used as starter cores. They are pellets made of microcrystalline cellulose in size ranges from 100 µm to 1400 µm. In this specific case study, the core size ranges between 100 µm and 200 µm with a defined size distribution. The main advantages of CELLETS® are high sphericity, low friability and optimum in hardness. An API is coated onto the starter cores with a drug load of 5-20 %. The taste-masking coating is performed with Eudragit EPO® so that the resulting particle size remains below 500 µm (Figure 1). Eudragit is the polymer of choice as it ideally prevents API release in oral cavity and allows its release in the absorption window of the API. The final dosage form is a MUPS tablet (Figure 2).


Sketch of a coated pellet starter core (green) with API (blue) and taste masking Eudragit EPO® (yellow) coating. The API drug load is between 5 % to 20 %. The resulting particle size remains below 500 µm.

Compaction is an issue during production, which requires mechanically stable pellets. Coated CELLETS® 200 after compaction still represent as “hard” core pellets. The coated pellets show only little deformation, a reversible compaction behavior and an intact coating.


Sketch of a MUPS tablet. Coated starter cores (yellow) and filling excipient formulation (white).

Here, the MUPS formulation defines a content uniformity with an excellent taste masking at pH 7 (as a measure for the oral cavity) and fast dissolution at pH 1 (representing conditions in the stomach). Figure 3 shows the evaluation of taste masking and dissolution efficiency tests, where the dissolution at pH 7 remains less than 10 % after 10 minutes, and a desired dissolution at pH 1 with a drug release better than 85 % after 30 minutes.


Drug release versus time for coated CELLETS® 200 starter cores. Blue line: in vitro dissolution testing at pH 1 (stomach). Red line: taste masking evaluation at pH 7 (oral cavity).


Taste masking and modification is crucial for costumer compliance in paediatric and geriatric applications. Several methods are available, such as direct API coating. CELLETS® are perfect starter cores for a successful formulation and simplify taste masking of extreme bitter APIs. CELLETS® properties allow perfect coating abilities due to a high degree of sphericity. CELLETS® of small sizes and narrow size distribution are applicable in MUPS tablets thanks to their low friability and excellent hardness.


[1] K. Rafik. Computationally Designed Prodrugs for Masking the Bitter Taste of Drugs. Drug Des. Open Access (2012).

[2] V. Vummaneni and D. Nagpal. Recent, taste masking technologies: an overview and updates. Int. J. Res. Pharm. Biomed. Sci. (2012) 3, 510-524.

[3] D. Sharma, D. Kumar, M. Singh, G. Singh and M. Rathore. Taste masking technologies: a novel approach for the improvement of the organoleptic property of pharmaceutical active substance. Int. Res. J. Pharm. (2012) 3, 108-116.

[4] Hazzah, H.A., EL-Massik, M.A., Abdallah, O.Y. et al. Preparation and characterization of controlled-release doxazosin mesylate pellets using a simple drug layering-aquacoating technique. Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation 43 (2013) 333–342.